Gene Simmons has once again responded to Ice Cube’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame speech. As previously reported, the KISS bassist/vocalist recently made negative comments about the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inducting rap artists, saying he was looking forward to the death of hip-hop.
During his acceptance speech, the N.W.A. rapper said: “Now, the question is, are we rock and roll? And I say, you goddamn right we rock and roll. Rock and roll is not an instrument, rock and roll is not even a style of music. Rock and roll is a spirit. It’s a spirit. It’s been going since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, R&B, rock and roll, heavy metal, punk rock and yes, hip-hop. And what connects us all is that spirit. That’s what connects us all, that spirit. Rock and roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and in life. That is rock and roll, and that is us.”
Simmons later responded via Twitter, saying, “Respectfully– let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the hip hop hall of fame. Then youll have a point. @icecube.”
Cube then replied, also via Twitter, saying: “@genesimmons Who stole the soul? Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Chubby Checkers help invent Rock ‘n’ Roll. We invent it. Y’all reprint it.”
Simmons fired back: “Cube – I stand by my words. Respect NWA, but when Led Zep gets into Rap Hall of Fame, I will agree with your point.”
Cube later said during an interview with Howard Stern: “I think [Gene] believes [the Hall Of Fame is] straight for rock and rollers. I got a lot of respect for Gene Simmons. I met him a couple of times, he’s actually pretty cool. But I just think he’s wrong on this.”
The rapper continued: “Everybody’s got their own opinions and Gene, he’s an OG in the game, but he’s just wrong on this. It’s a spirit and it’s been going on since before they called it rock and roll. I hate it when hip-hoppers, some of them go to the band. I’m a turntable guy, like old-school RUN-DMC dudes. So I be having my feelings sometimes. But, ultimately, we in, baby.”
Simmons originally took issue with hip-hop acts — and other non-rock artists — being inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame during a 2014 interview with Radio.com. He stated at the time: “It’s really back-room politics, like Boss Tweed. A few people decide what’s in and what’s not. And the masses just scratch their heads. You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? RUN-D.M.C. in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? You’re killing me! That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!”
He continued: “If you asked Donna [Summer], ‘What kind of artist are you?’, do you think she would say ‘rock?’ If you asked Madonna, ‘What kind of artist are you?’ do you think she would say, ‘Oh, rock!’ So what they hell are they doing in the Hall Of Fame? They can run their organization any way they’d like, but it ain’t rock! It just isn’t! If you don’t play guitar and you don’t write your own songs, you don’t belong there.”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Simmons predicted that rap would soon die out, and he’ll be the first one to dance on its grave.
“Rap will die. Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along,” he told the magazine. “And all that is good and healthy. I am looking forward to the death of rap. I’m looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking. A song, as far as I’m concerned, is by definition lyric and melody, or just melody.”
Cube’s N.W.A. bandmate MC Ren responded to Simmons during his Rock Hall acceptance speech. He said: “Mr. Gene Simmons, hip-hop is here forever! Get used to it!”